Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Almost there...

Well, as of 1:47 this afternoon, I am happy to say that we're almost to the end of the stimming phase!! Praise God and hallelujah, because this Lupron has turned me into a walking zombie with a daily migraine, blech!! I'm scared, nervous and hopeful all at the same time. I've somehow allowed Hope to creep in there again. How is beyond me, but I'm feeling so at peace this cycle, that I'm guessing that's why. Anyway, here's where we stand today...

1 @ 14mm
3 @ 15mm
1 @ 16mm
1 @ 17mm

2 @ 10mm and under
3 @ 11mm-13mm
1 @ 15mm
1 @ 18mm

More blood work and another ultrasound tomorrow morning, and then we should be triggering tomorrow night! WOW!! There was a moment this morning where they thought that might happen tonight, but Dr. Wonderful is banking on the "cluster" of follies in my left ovary to surge ahead tonight with the last of the stims. He explained to me that while we do have some pretty good, larger sized follies on each ovary, he's hoping he can get 'ol Lefty to catch up. All in all, I'm pretty happy with these numbers and am just praying that we're able to get some quality eggs from them. At this point in time, I'm praying for quality over quantity. We have about the same number of follies as last time, so we'll see. I'm crossing everything!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Well, I knew this post could go one of two ways, and I'm glad to say that as of this morning's blood work and ultrasound...WE HAVE GROWTH!! Praise God!! Here's the run down:

"Righty" (usually referred to as "Lazy Righty")
5 @ 12mm
2 @ 13mm

"Lefty" (usually referred to as "Superstar"...not so much this time)
4 @ 10mm
2 @ 13mm

I go back in for b/w and u/s Tuesday morning, and Nurse Sweetie Pie anitcipates that we'll probably be taking the Ovidrel on either Tuesday or Wednesday...gaaaahhhh!!! Now we're just praying for continued growth, resulting in good quality eggs. On Friday afternoon, I made a trek to the shrine of St. Gerard with my good friend K :::waves Hi!:::, and it looks like prayers DO get answered!

Please Lord, continue to watch over us as we walk this path to parenthood. We know that with You, all things are possible.

""Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and it will be yours."
(Mark 11:22, 24)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Worrying & Acupuncture

Happy Friday everyone!! I am so glad this work week is almost over...whew! I'm really looking forward to spending some quality time with the Hubby this weekend! Work has been so busy for him since the Spring, and he's finally getting a whole weekend off, YAY!! I have a birthday brunch for my SIL Sunday morning and then my niece's pool party that afternoon, and I'm thinking maybe a date night tomorrow? I'm itching to see Transfor.mers, so we'll see...

Anyway, I've been hesitant to post an update from my blood work and ultrasound on Wednesday. Mostly because there's not much to update you guys on. Somewhere in between Monday and Wednesday I've managed to "lose" 2 follicles. How, you might be asking yourself, is that possible? I have no idea. I'm chalking it up to the fact that, with our clinic, you pretty much see a different Dr. every time you go for morning monitoring and they all read the ultrasounds differently. I voiced my concerns to our Nurse, because lets face it, I need all the follies I can get, and she said the same thing. Strike two - there wasn't any progress, growth wise, with the follies and that had me really concerned. Again, my Nurse tried to assure me that it was still a little early to see follicle growth. With our first IVF cycle, we did have a little growth by CD8, but not a big difference. Seriously though? I'm pumping enormous amounts of drugs into my body and nothing? I'm trying to stay positive, and remind myself that you only need ONE egg to get the job done, but I'm just.so.scared. What if I go in tomorrow and I'm still stuck with follies <10? What if they wind up cancelling our cycle? What if we've spent all this money, yet again, and I still wind up not having anything to show for it? I mean, you guys know how it goes...the questions just go on, and on, and on...I know that there's really nothing I can do about it. It is what it is, and I'm just going to try and give it up to God and let Him be in control. Oh, yeah and also trying to just breeeeaaathe!!!

Okay, so enough Debbie Downer for today....

Onto my acupuncture appointment. Let me just say this, for those of you who have never done it or are scared to do it...DO IT!!! Even if not for "fertility" reasons, just give it a chance and I promise you that you will not be disappointed! Of course, I was a little nervous when I arrived at the office, but Dr. K really took the time to talk me through everything. She took a complete medical history, measured my pulse and explained everything that was going to happen. She wound up putting about 20 needles into various parts of my body, really focusing on the fertility aspect of it. She also put a heat lamp over my abdomen once she had all the needles in, and let me tell you, it was heaven!! Apparently, a warm abdomen helps to promote a snuggly uterus, which in turn helps with embryo implantation. Who knew! There was one instance where she put a needle into my hand that wasn't exactly pleasant, but she remedied it right away and explained that certain needles can feel "heavier" in parts of the body that carry more stress. Anyway, I wound up falling asleep, that's how relaxed I was. I woke up refreshed and with so much energy, and have been sleeping like a baby ever since! We're going to work a little more on stress management next week, and she even said we might have some time for a neck massage! Woohoo!!

Soooo, this post turned out a lot longer that I had anticipated, but I do feel much better now! I hope all you lovelies out there have a beautiful weekend, and if you can, send up a few prayers for us!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


So I just found out that they've moved the release date for Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince up to July 15th!! Gaaaah, I can't wait!!! This movie looks to be one of the best ones yet!! Here's a peek...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sisterhood Award

A while ago I received the "Sisterhood Award" from my dear bloggie friend Osuraj. Who, I might add, has just gotten her coveted BFP!! Please take a minute to visit her blog, congratulate her and show her some love and support today! I know I've dragged my feet in passing it along, but no better time than the present, I say.

Anyway, I was thinking...the last time I received an award, I nominated some folks who never even acknowledged the award. Even after leaving a message on their blogs. Maybe those who didn't respond and pass it along didn't feel honored, or felt like it was a burden. I'm sorry for that. I hate to obligate anyone with an award.

So, that in turn made me rethink this whole award thing: are they a good thing or are they not? I think they are a good thing. Blogging takes a lot of work and time, and it is lovely to be recognized for your efforts. I want to thank those who stop by my blog, read what I write and who continually offer their prayers, love and support. Even while going through their own struggles. These awards are a lovely thing and a good way to share good feelings, so I hope that those I tag will accept this award in the spirit in which it is given: attitude and/or gratitude.

The "guidelines" state that you should nominate at least 10 blogs who fit this bill. Hmmm, what to do, what to do? I know in doing this, I will most assuredly leave out a number of people who have been good "sisters". "Sisters" who have not forgotten me, even though I haven't been the best bloggie friend lately. There are so many of you who have shown us so much love and support since this blog was started, so please forgive me if I've inadvertently left anyone out!

The guidelines for this award are:

  1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

  2. Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude. Be sure to link to your nominees in your post.

  3. Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

  4. Be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award.

I nominate the following people and their inspiring blogs:

Meds 101

I know that for most of us IF'ers out there, we're more than familiar with all the different medications used prior to, during and after an IVF cycle. I know that when we started our first cycle, I had so many questions that needed answering. I was scared, nervous and excited all at the same time!

For those newcomer's out there, I thought it might be beneficial to do a post explaining what the "typical" IVF meds are. So, without further ado, here's a little more information as to what each one is used for during a "typical" IVF cycle. Please keep in mind that everyone is different, and your protocol may/may not include all these. I've also included some other meds that come into play as well throughout the cycle...

  • Estrace/Estradiol (oral) - I couldn't find a really good definition of this, other than that it's used to treat conditions due to menopause (eg, hot flashes; vaginal itching, burning, or dryness), treating vulval or vaginal atrophy, and preventing osteoporosis (brittle bones). It is also used for estrogen replacement therapy after failure of the ovaries and to relieve the symptoms of breast cancer. Not sure what it's exactly used for in conjunction with IVF. Hmmm, anybody?

  • Microdose Lupron (subcutaneous inj) - initially accelerates the pituitary gland and then stops it from producing LH and FSH the two hormones responsible for egg development and ovulation), allowing for a controlled stimulation cycle prior to IVF. The low-dose preparation has the ability to stimulate rather than suppress the ovaries. This is used for "poor responders." Usually, five, ten or twenty units is given daily as prescribed during the cycle. It may be overlapped with birth control pills for 3-7 days.

  • Low-dose hCG (subcutaneous inj) - used as a replacement for LH to help supplement the stimulation during ART cycles. When administered as an injection to a non-pregnant woman, hCG acts the same way that luteinizing hormone (LH) does. The advantage is that hCG lasts a lot longer in the body than LH does and therefore has a more reliable, consistent effect. Because of these features, hCG is much more potent than LH.

  • Follistim (subcutaneous inj) - used to induce or enhance ovulation, or, to super-stimulate the ovaries. Follistim contains follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), a naturally occurring hormone. FSH is important in the development of follicles (eggs) produced by the ovaries. Generally started on the second, third, fourth or fifth day of the cycle, and continued for 7 to 12 days or longer if the ovary responds slowly. Gonal-F, Bravelle, Pergonal and Repronex can also be put in this category.

  • Ganirelix (subcutaneous inj) - GnRH antagonist that immediately suppress luteinizing hormone (LH). This medication is initiated during the later part of the stimulation cycle when the follicles begin to increase in size. Cetrotide can also be used.

  • hCG ("trigger shot")(subcutaneous inj) - causes the eggs to complete the maturation process. This is taken only once in the cycle. Release of the eggs should occur about 36-46 hours after the shot. Timing this shot is vital! If it's given too early, the eggs will not have matured enough. If given too late, the eggs may be “too old” and won't fertilize properly. The daily ultrasounds at the end of your stims are meant to time this trigger shot just right. Usually, the hCG injection is given when four or more follicles have grown to be 18 to 20mm in size and your estradiol levels are greater than 2,000pg/ML. Brand names for this include Ovidrel, Novarel and Pregnyl.

  • Doxycycline (oral) - prescribed to each partner during an IVF cycle, to control bacteria that may affect implantation in the female and sperm quality in the male. This ensures that uterus is free of bacteria before embryo transfer. In most cases your partner will start this on your CD3, taking it twice a day for a minimum of five days prior to partner’s retrieval, and you will start it the night of your retrieval.

  • Medrol (oral) - a light steroid that is used to prevent 'inflammation' of the uterine lining that can cause it to reject the embryo. Usually, one pill daily beginning the day of retrieval and ending the day of, or after, embryo transfer.

  • Progesterone (intramuscular inj) - these are the big boys!! Administered to support the uterine lining during early pregnancy. Used daily starting the day of IVF retrieval and continuing until the pregnancy test, and an additional four to six weeks if the pregnancy test is positive. I use the Progestero.ne in Ethyl Oleate which is a much thinner consistency. Because of this, you can use a smaller gauge needle, which in turn, makes it that much easier to administer. Do yourself (and your hiney!) a favor and ask your Dr. for this one!!!

So, that about sums it up!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Plugging along...

So, I've got a bit to catch you guys up on...I went for CD3 b/w on Friday morning and started meds that night. Meds meaning 20iu's Lupron in the morning, 20iu's Lupron, 450iu's Follistim and 15iu's low-dose hCG all in the evening. WHOA!! This was all in addition to the Estrace I was taking twice a day, which I was able to stop yesterday. YAY!! Dr. Wonderful has us on a very different protocol this time around in the hopes that we'll be able to produce a few more, good quality eggs, and it looks like that might be working!

Bloodwork and ultrasound yesterday morning showed SEVEN follies on my lazy, right ovary (go righty!!) and FOUR beauties on the left, all <10 of course, but with IVF #1 we only had a total of seven at retrieval, so I'm feeling like we're already ahead of the game!!! I am praying with all that I have that they're good quality eggs, and at this point in time I'm feeling very positive! Much different from how I was feeling the first time around. More b/w and another u/s tomorrow morning will give us a better idea of where we're at, and hopefully a possible retrieval date...GAHHH!!!

I'm also making my first, official visit to an acupuncture specialist tomorrow after work. This doctor was referred to me by our PCP, whose wife used her during their second successful IVF cycle. I found an interesting article here, and I'm curious to see how she'll be able to help me through this cycle. Hopefully, she'll at least be able to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that goes hand in hand with IVF.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Climb...

In addition to just loving Miley Cyrus and thinking that she's completely adorable, this song just says it all! It literally gives me the chills every time I hear it, and the lyrics seem like they were written just for me...I hope it inspires you as much as it does me because, really when we come down to it, it IS all about the climb!

I can almost see it,
That dream I'm dreamin'
But there's a voice inside my head sayin'
You'll never reach it...

Every step I'm taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction,
My faith is shaking...

But I, I gotta keep tryin',
Gotta keep my head held high...
There's always gonna be another mountain,
I'm always gonna wanna make it move,
Always gonna be an up-hill battle,
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose,
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side...
It's the climb!

The struggles I'm facing,
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down but,
No, I'm not breaking...
I may not know it,
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep goin'...

And, I, I got to be strong,
Just keep pushing on...
'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain,
I'm always gonna wanna make it move,
Always gonna be an up-hill battle,
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose...
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side...
It's the climb!


There's always gonna be another mountain,
I'm always gonna wanna make it move,
Always gonna be an up-hill battle,
Sometimes you're gonna have to lose...
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side...
It's the climb!

Keep on movin'
Keep climbin'
Keep the faith, baby!
It's all about...
It's all about...
The climb!
Keep the faith, keep your faith, woah!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And so it begins...

...IVF "Take 2" that is! Well, today marks CD1 and the official start of our second IVF cycle! What can I say...I'M TERRIFED!! Actually, I'm terrified and excited at the same time (if that's really possible?). Physically, I feel so much more relaxed this time around, and I'm chalking that up to the fact that we've already been through it once. I know what to expect...from raging hormones, to mood swings, to giant needles and I'm okay with all of it. And even though the first time around didn't result in a positive outcome for us, I'm still waaay less stressed about the road ahead. However, my emotions seem to be seated in the front row of the rollercoaster, as I can go from feeling way, way up to feeling way, waaaaay down in a matter of 0.8 seconds flat! Honestly, I just don't want to be left behind...AGAIN! I want a guarantee this time around that IT WILL WORK! However, I know that's precisely the way it doesn't work, and it makes me sad. I also feel like a heel complaining about any of it because I know there are so many women out there who never even get to the point I'm at. So, I guess I just have to plug away, move forward and put my faith in God and myself.

I had a wonderful friend lend me her holy medals (Saint Ge.rard, Saint Jud.e and the Vi.rgin M.ary) that she wore during her own infertility treatments, so in addition to my daily novena's to Saint Th.erese, I feel pretty well covered. I've also had another dear friend offer to take me to St. Lu.cy's Chu.rch, which is home to the national shrine of Saint Gera.rd, to be blessed and receive a Saint Ger.ard handkerchief. If you don't know the story of this, take a look here. Anyway, I'll be going on on Friday for CD3 b/w and u/s, so I'll keep you all posted! Thank goodness we have some pretty busy weekends coming up, which will hopefully help make the time pass even faster...as always a big Thank You goes out to all you beautiful readers out there who continue to show me so much love and support! Without you guys, how would I have ever made it so far? So, THANKS! :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The newest addition to our family...

I know I'm a little behind, but I just couldn't resist...please welcome to the world my 2nd great nephew, Gavin Patrick!! He was born on May 31st, weighing in @ 9lbs, 1oz and 21 inches long! This little guy is such a snuggle bug, and we're all just over the moon in love with him!

Daddy, Riley & Gavin...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Relaxing in Punta Cana...

Hello all my beautiful friends out there!! I'm working on an update for the beginning of our second IVF cycle, but thought a post showcasing our wonderful vacation in Punta Cana, DR was warranted!! We had such an amazing time, and came home relaxed, rested and with our batteries recharged! It's really amazing what a little time away from "things" can do for your mind, body and soul! And now we're ready to start our next journey, and feeling postive about tackling all the hurdles ahead...

US enjoying our last day...

My handsome Hubby...

A really cool shipwreck off the coast...